Most Expensive Aircraft, Ranked
C-17A GLOBEMASTER III – $328 MILLION
This Boeing plane was developed for the US Air Force, and it is one of their largest military transport aircrafts. The C-17A is used for strategic and tactical airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo, medical evacuation, and airdrops. It’s also known for going through development difficulties in early 1993, during several testing phases. McDonnell Douglas, the contractor responsible for the design, worked under the Department of Defense and incurred a loss of nearly $1.5 billion on the development phase. McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in 1997, and now the Air Force has between 180 to 210 of these beasts.
4F-22 RAPTOR – $350 MILLION
The F-22 Raptor is widely considered the best overall combat plane in the world, and it’s also the most expensive. This single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter was developed for the US Air Force by Lockheed Martin. The production of the plane ended in 2012 after a final procurement of 187 operational aircrafts, due to the high cost, a ban on exports, and the development of the lower costing, more versatile F-35. Still, the F-22 Raptor can shoot down enemy cruise missiles, fly at supersonic speeds for long distances, and can avoid nearly all types of radar detection, making it one of the best fighter planes in the world.
3AIRBUS A340-300 CUSTOM – $350-$500 MILLION
This customized Airbus A340-300 is owned by Alisher Usmanov, the richest billionaire in Russia. The plane touts an eye-catching custom paint job with the name “Bourkhan” on its side, honoring Usmanov’s father. It is the largest plane in Russia, even bigger than President Putin’s Ilyushin II-96. The plane itself cost $238 million, but after luxury remodeling it’s estimated to be worth between $350 and $500 million, taking the interior decoration and implemented technology into consideration. The jet can carry 375 passengers and fly for 9,000 miles. It makes a great pair to the superyacht that Usmanov owns which he named after his mother, Dilbar.
2AIRBUS A380 CUSTOM – $500 MILLION
The most expensive private jet in the world is owned (once again) by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. This ridiculously luxurious aircraft has everything from a two-car garage, a room for the prince’s hawks, a stable, multiple bedrooms, bathrooms with showers, and something that is called a “wellness area.”
The double-decker Airbus 380 is the largest commercial plane flying today, although Prince Al-Waleed has reduced some of that passenger space for the addition of his garage, bedrooms, and other luxury settings. The prince can afford all this as he’s the founder of the Kingdom Holding Company, the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup, the second-largest voting shareholder in News Corporation, and is the 26th richest person in the world.
1B-2 SPIRIT STEALTH BOMBER – $2.1 BILLION
The B-2 Spirit is by far the most expensive aircraft ever built. It was so costly that Congress cut its initial purchase order from 132 to 21 in 1987. After a 2008 crash, there are now 20 of these formidable craft under the control of the US Air Force. This strategic bomber features low-stealth technology designed to penetrate anti-aircraft defenses, and is able to employ conventional and nuclear weapons. It can drop up to 80 500-lb-class JDAM GPS guided bombs, or 16 2,400-lb B83 nuclear bombs.